USDA Cost of Food List - Page 2 - Mothering Forums

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#31 of 48 Old 10-01-2010, 09:29 AM
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I loved this! I have to show it to DH. We are always worried we are spending too much and we are below the thrify plan. Makes me feel pretty good!

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#32 of 48 Old 10-01-2010, 02:29 PM
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If you dig deeper and follow the associated links, you learn a few interesting things.

These numbers are based on having every meal and snack at/from home BUT they are not based on everything being made from scratch, esp. the Thrifty Plan! So, they include purchased breads, box meals, canned soups, processed foods, etc.
The numbers are also based on the MyPyramid food standards for servings, food group distribution, etc. I'm guessing a lot of people here on MDC (me included) don't buy into the standard "American diet", which changes things considerably.
Most importantly, the price numbers for foods come from Nielson Homescan data (now NCP) and represent average costs people actually paid for food. Not everyone uses coupons, shops loss leaders, meal plans, etc. so that can make a huge difference.

All that said...right now we're sitting at about $320 a month for a family of 4: 2 adults, a 16mo, and a 6yo. This doesn't include a bulk beef purchase we'll be getting in a few weeks, or the hog we'll purchase in several months. Even averaging those out over the next year, I'd say we'll still be between thrifty and low-cost plans. We shop sales, use doubled/stacked coupons, meal plan, maintain a hefty pantry, and generally do whatever we can to keep costs down.

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#33 of 48 Old 10-01-2010, 04:11 PM
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we're in the thrifty plan including eating out once a week for ds and I and a few times a week for dh.

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#34 of 48 Old 10-01-2010, 07:30 PM
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We're around the thrifty - low-cost plan on average. And we eat largely organic.

Course that explains why I thought our foodstamp benefits for so long were (IMO!) utterly ridiculous. (family of four, we got ~660ish dollars. A month. Now that DH is *FINALLY* working again its down to ~330ish. Which is bloody plenty!!)
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#35 of 48 Old 10-01-2010, 08:59 PM
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Great thread! TY!

We are far below the thrifty plan, and our groceries in the sticks are far pricier than in say... Indy or Lincoln!

We are now a fam of 4 and are $200-$300 below thrifty-- I co op shop and make a lot from scratch, but we do eat as much organic as we can find regardless of cost-- it's all about availability here.

When we were a fam of 7 in a major city, we spent almost exactly $500 per month, mostly organic, without the benefits of a grocery co op! My xh thought I grossly overspent, LOL!!!! Some months I stretched those groceries out for 2 months.

Oh-- this includes pet food and soap, shampoo, etc. I know the chart doesn't, but I budget all the grocery store purchase together.

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#36 of 48 Old 10-02-2010, 05:04 AM
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Converted into USD we'd be between thrifty and low cost plans as well. Although I think food is much more expensive here. We don't really watch our food spending too much, though. I buy some organic food and always choose fresh and yummy instead of cheap. I think it helps a lot that we're not very big eaters, and we don't buy beverages.

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#37 of 48 Old 10-02-2010, 03:12 PM
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I also factored in we purchase a side of beef and a whole pig each and every year.

We cook from scratch 99% of them time, with exception to buying pasta we boil, buying baggette and laoves of bread from the local bakery. I also buy deli meat for lunches at school. Maybe that is why we are in the low catagory. If we bought a lot of the packaged stuff, it would cost us lots more considering what the prices I see on these items.

I do buy some items such as canned soup etc, but mainly when it is on sale and when our local food pantry requests it. I do not count that in our food budget, but charity since it goes directly to the food pantry. Our church does a monthly collection and the week before they always say what they are low on- toothpaste, PB and Jelly, speggetti sauce, pasta. So I buy about $30 worth of whatever they are looking for plus some other items like pads, etc if someone needs it.

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#38 of 48 Old 10-02-2010, 03:41 PM
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wow! This makes me feel so much better about our grocery budget. We are a family of 3 with a grocery budget of about $600, including our CSA box of local/organic produce that is $45 per week.

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#39 of 48 Old 10-02-2010, 04:43 PM
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With our family of 5, we are about $200 less per month than the thrifty plan at the current time and I haven't been very frugal lately. If I'm actively being frugal, we spend approximately $350 less a month. I very rarely use coupons or shop circulars. I do obsessively food plan and buy the majority of our food in bulk, however we buy processed, prepared food for DH and oldest DS quite often and they eat meat at every meal. We don't eat out at all, except for a monthly or bi-monthly take and bake pizza or special occasions like birthdays.
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#40 of 48 Old 10-03-2010, 01:22 PM
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#41 of 48 Old 10-04-2010, 07:34 AM
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We're a family of 6 almost every night... and we're not even close to the "thrifty" family of 4.... I think we're about $200-$300 BELOW that. I do almost everything from scratch and grow/preserve a ton of stuff... plus we get all of our milk products and eggs from my sisters chickens and goats I don't even know what I would do with $579 a month, lol.

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#42 of 48 Old 10-05-2010, 12:09 AM
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We're liberal! Doesn't surprise me, though, as we are gluten, dairy, soy, and egg free, all of our meat is pastured & organic, and most produce and dry goods are organic. That amount actually does include all of our personal care products, too as they are very minor expenses. We use family cloth, no-poo, I use a menstrual cup, I clean with baking soda and vinegar, etc, so the cost for that portion is pretty small. I think condoms and toothpaste are probably the most expensive, lol!

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#43 of 48 Old 10-05-2010, 05:15 AM
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We're right at thrifty for a family of 8 - $250/week. I really have a hard time believing how much my grocery budget dropped when dd got married and she and her fiance stopped eating here every night!

Oh, and that includes toiletries/misc. so we're probably under $20-$30/week.
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#44 of 48 Old 10-05-2010, 01:34 PM
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We're under the thrifty plan by around 200/month. However, I think a lot of the reason is because of my 2 yo. They allot 98.30/month for a 2-yo and I just don't think he eats that much. Probably a big reason is that he is still breastfeeding and so doesn't drink "other milks" or juices. My 5-yo and 8-yo don't drink milk or juice either.

Also, when people combine their shopping/cooking etc. their total cost overall is less than if they are doing everything separately. I don't think it is accurate to say that a child spends this much and an adult spends this much, so if they are together they spend the total. There is some savings in sharing food. We spent a couple of years with my dh being gone all week and only coming home on weekends. He worked on an island and rented a house there during the week. During that time our family food expenses were astronomical. It cost a lot more for his food that was bought and prepared separately from the rest of the family then it did when everything is all together. Once he left that job and we were all eating together again our grocery bill dropped a lot.

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#45 of 48 Old 10-05-2010, 03:19 PM
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Actually, this made me feel much better about we spend. Now I just have to start consuming my twenty pounds of fruit and vegetables a week. Seriously!
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#46 of 48 Old 10-05-2010, 03:42 PM
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I think we spend a little more than the low-cost. It's hard to figure, for us, since I pay my CSA dues annually, and because we grow a fair bit of our own produce, too. Plus, my "food" costs aren't separated out from stuff like cat food, cat litter, and laundry detergent.

We're also in one of the highest COL areas in the US. So I'm sure that has something to do with it. I don't buy packaged or processed food, but I do buy organic fresh fruit in the winter, and I pay a premium price locally for ethical animal products.

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#47 of 48 Old 10-05-2010, 08:14 PM
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Holy cow. How in the world are we BELOW thrifty (or right at it maybe)? I am SHOCKED. Absolutely shocked. And here I am, stressing to the max, over how to further lower our grocery (food) bill. :/
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#48 of 48 Old 10-05-2010, 08:29 PM
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I'm about in the "moderate" column.

Good to know!

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